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United States : Enlisted education center expands.

Professional military educa-tion for enlisted airmen is ex-panding its reach from Mont-gomery.

The Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education is at Gunter Annex and is the parent organization for all enlisted ed-ucation in the Air Force.

The center includes six non-commissioned officer acade-mies nationwide and currently is establishing a seventh acade-my at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.

Several staff members at the Barnes Center, including Chief Master Sgt. Scott Kilbride and Patrick Gratz, are doing most of the legwork to hire a new com-mandant, support staff and in-structors for the new academy. Kilbride is the senior enlisted leader at the Barnes Center, and Gratz is the mission support di-rector.

Eventually, the new academy will have 13 student flights with 25 total staff members. Kilbride and Gratz said they hope to start running a few seminars at the Sheppard academy in January or February. They also hope to have an activation ceremony and have the new commandant take over about that time. The commandant hasn't been select-ed and the dates are tentative.

The noncommissioned officer academies provide mid-level leadership training for techni-cal sergeants. It's mandatory training for the active duty members, and Guard and Re-serve members also attend.

There are 41,685 technical ser-geants on active duty, which is 15.8 percent of the total 264,492 enlisted airmen on active duty in the Air Force. Of the total 93,937 enlisted members of the Air National Guard nationwide, 20,598 of them are technical ser-geants.

The course is 28 academic days held over five and a half weeks, and airmen earn 223 credits for the course.

The education track for en-listed airmen starts with the Airman Leadership School, one of which is at Maxwell Air Force Base. Typically, airmen attend Airman Leadership School while they hold the rank of sen-ior airmen, or E-4. As technical sergeants, or E-6, airmen attend the noncommissioned officer academy. Later in their careers, some will be selected to attend the Senior NCO Academy at Gunter Annex. Sister services and international airmen also attend that school. Top enlisted airmen attend the Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course that was created in 2005.

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Date:Jul 26, 2010
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